series preview


5 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday • BTN, 103.5-FM (Fri.), 96.7-FM (Sat.)

Surprising Spartans next

Gophers at a glance: The Gophers (7-9-4, 2-4-4-3 Big Ten), who are in fifth place in the Big Ten, defeated Bemidji State 5-2 on Dec. 28 and St. Cloud State 4-1 on Dec. 29 to win the Mariucci Classic. Goaltender Jack LaFontaine was named the tournament's MVP after stopping 52 of 55 shots in two victories. On the season, he has a 2.85 GAA and .908 save percentage in 12 starts. F Sammy Walker leads the Gophers in points with 13 (seven goals, six assists) and F Scott Reedy leads the team in goals (nine).

Spartans at a glance: The Spartans (10-9-1, 6-3-1), ranked No. 20, are tied with Ohio State for second place in the Big Ten standings. The Spartans, who were 12-19-5 overall and 8-12-4-2 in the Big Ten last season, have won four of their past six games. The Spartans are led by F Patrick Khodorenko, who has 10 goals and nine assists in 20 games. F Mitchell Lewandowski has 15 points (six goals, nine assists). G John Lethemon has a 2.07 GAA and .938 save percentage in 18 appearances (17 starts).

Numbers: The Spartans won three of four from the Gophers last season, earning a split in Minneapolis and sweeping in East Lansing.